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This past week, the results of a few different video game console-related surveys have come in. In each, gamers were gathered together and asked about their knowledge of specific gaming products. The first one that caught my attention was that the majority of gamers have never heard of Sony’s PS4 Pro or Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. At first glance, this isn’t very surprising. These are both mid-generation hardware updates to consoles that people have either already bought or will continue to buy due to being a lower price. I also imagine that most players wouldn’t care about the jump in quality that either console offers since they can still play the games they want on their system of choice.

What really caught my eye was another survey that found that only 77% of gamers had heard of the PS4. This shocked me considering that PS4 is the dominant console of the eighth generation when it comes to critical and commercial success. When digging a bit more closely into both surveys, a good chunk of the gamers that were surveyed only played mobile games like Candy Crush and Pokémon GO.

This information led me on down a bunch of different trains of thought. “Can these really be considered gamers?” “Would they consider themselves gamers?” “How do we define the term ‘gamers’?” I think that, while many would consider people who only game on mobile devices (or even on console in the eyes of some) to not be gamers, they actually are. By technicality, they are playing video games, just not the kind that certain gamers consider “true” video games.

So how do we go about defining gamers? I personally think that the term is incredibly loose and can be applied to multiple different sects of people. A gamer is literally just someone who plays video games. It doesn’t specify what kind of games, how often they play them, the platform in which they play them, etc. However, the best way to define gamers is to look at each individual sect within the community and understand the various differences between them.

With that idea in mind, there are hundreds of different variations of the word “gamer.” There are mobile players like the ones mentioned previously. There are console playerd who, right now, probably play on either PS4, Xbox One, or Switch/Wii U. There are multiple different kinds of PC gamers, some of whom built their rigs from scratch and some who just play Minecraft of Hearthstone on their low-powered laptops. There are casual gamers who could fit into any of the previous categories, only playing games on any of these platforms to enjoy themselves. There are also hardcore gamers who fit into each previous category. Some might disagree with that but you can find someone just as invested in catching every Pokémon in Pokémon GO as you can with someone wanting to reach Grand Master in competitive Overwatch.

Since there are so many different ways of identifying as a gamer, the term itself is a bit flawed. However, when you get into the nitty gritty of being a gamer, it is an incredibly diverse term that has multiple different in-groups and out-groups that at least someone can identify with. As such, anyone can be a gamer even if they just play a mobile game once every couple of months. It’s mainly about the kind of player you see yourself as, the gaming community you fit into, and whether or not you get any kind of satisfaction out of playing video games. So, while I think the surveys that were done are a bit flawed with how broad their research pool is, I wholeheartedly agree with the idea that mobile/casual gamers are still gamers.

I spend most of my days working towards my Writing and Rhetoric degree at the University of Central Florida, but I spend a lot of my down time keeping up to date on the best TV, movies, and video games the industry has to offer. Here I put all of that extended time to use discussing each of them in-depth.

Gaming

Skull and Bones Launch Causes Surge in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag Gamers

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It’s intriguing to note that the launch of the long-awaited piracy simulator Skull and Bones has led to a notable increase in players returning to Ubisoft’s previous game, the pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

PCGamesN gathered data from SteamDB and observed that on February 15, 2024, the day before Skull and Bones launched, approximately 971 players were simultaneously playing Black Flag. By the 16th, the figure had nearly doubled, hitting 1,662. By the 17th, the number had increased to 2600, and by the 18th, it reached 3,226. After a week of continuous gameplay, a new peak was achieved on the 26th, with 3,594 players online simultaneously. With the game’s peak hitting 16K a decade ago, it’s a fascinating illustration of how success can benefit everyone involved, pun intended.

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One can’t help but sympathize with developer Ubisoft Singapore in this situation. We thoroughly appreciated Skull and Bones after overcoming the initial comparison to Black Flag, which was a point of contention in our review. Ubisoft’s latest release faces a major challenge due to players’ existing expectations and a lack of clear direction for several years.

As an Epic Store exclusive, it’s challenging to gauge the performance of Skull and Bones, especially since console numbers have not been disclosed. Insider Gaming cites sources within the company who claim that 850,000 people have downloaded the game, with the eight-hour free trial that Ubisoft is offering contributing to this figure. It’s worth noting that the developers described the game as top-tier quality and were adamant about pricing it at $70.
Are you feeling inspired to revisit Black Flag after trying out Skull and Bones? What are your thoughts on Skull and Bones if you’ve had the opportunity to try it out? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Gaming

Shibuya Action RPG REYNATIS Coming to PS5 first, with a later release on PS4 in the West later this year

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FuRyu’s Shibuya-based action RPG REYNATIS has sparked significant interest since its announcement for the PS5 and PS4 in Japan last week, with many eagerly awaiting news of a Western release. After the release of the full-length trailer this week, NIS America has stepped in as the publisher for North America and Europe.

While a specific release date hasn’t been announced yet, the company has confirmed that the game will include Japanese audio and English text upon its arrival in this region, along with a PC version being added. Fans will have to wait a little longer for the localized version of the upcoming adventure, which will feature several well-known Square Enix veterans.

“In search of liberation through power, the wizard Marin embarks on a journey to Shibuya, encountering Sari, a member of the MEA, a group committed to regulating wizards,” the description hints. Hide your magical abilities to blend in with the crowd and freely roam the city, engaging in various activities or missions. Alternatively, unleash your powerful skills to access hidden areas and confront any obstacles that cross your path.

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Gaming

When Shadow of the Erdtree releases, I might stop fighting Malenia in Elden Ring Legend and focus on soloing her

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It’s astonishing that two years have passed since a standout Elden Ring player emerged victorious, solidifying their claim to the Elden Lord throne by engaging in repetitive ritual battles. The character known as Let Me Solo Her valiantly defeated the game’s toughest boss on behalf of players, earning legendary status in the gaming community.

Currently, LMSH is engaged in a battle against Malenia but is eagerly anticipating Shadow of the Erdtree as a potential opportunity to end the conflict. After the DLC was announced, IGN interviewed a player with extensive experience in Elden Ring, boasting over 1,200 hours of gameplay. They claim to have defeated Malenia thousands of times and even completed the game using a unique mod.

LMSH is eagerly anticipating Shadow of the Erdtree, expressing confidence in director Hidetaka Miyazaki’s ability to deliver another outstanding masterpiece for players to enjoy. The terrifying Messmer, who Miyazaki confirmed to be a significant character in the DLC and on par with other potent figures in the game, is the new enemy in LMSH, as depicted above. Could this be a new adversary for LMSH?

The upcoming DLC for Elden Ring, Shadow of the Erdtree, is highly anticipated and is set to release on June 21st for PS5 and PS4. Do you think LMSH will be able to progress? Or do you think they are destined to dance with Malenia forever? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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